"She changed it to forks, knives, spoons." The cutlery drawer argument tearing everyone apart.


There are many pressing issues in this world.

Climate change, democracy, freedom of speech… the correct order of cutlery trays.

We… wish we could say we were joking. But we also can’t stop thinking about it.

A woman has sparked a brutal internet debate about the correct organisation of the cutlery tray, after her nosy mother-in-law rearranged hers one time.

Writing in the Organisation Ideas Australia Facebook group, the woman was understandably very distressed.

“My mum in law stays every few weekends – she’s old school Italian and has her way of doing things etc. I get a laugh,” she wrote.

“She changed my cutlery to go forks, knives, spoons, I had knives first. Last visit, she re-hung my washing with every piece touching. I just let her do it,” she added.

As expected, the people had many feelings about this cutlery organisation. But while some agreed with the woman’s original order, others were… insulted.

“It’s correct etiquette as to lay out a table setting – funnily enough we were taught how to do this years ago in high school,” one person wrote.

“Definitely spoons forks knives,” another said.

“Spoons, forks, knives in this house,” wrote another.

With conflicting opinions running rampant, there was only one thing left to do: research.


We started in the office, with the cutlery tray in the kitchen.

cutlery tray
WTF is this.

It is, we hope, an outlier, and will be banned from our study.

Conveniently ignoring the above evidence, the Mamamia team has identified two types of people when it comes to cutlery.


Forks to Spoons.

Why are you... so obsessed with forks?

There is a demographic that believes forks go to the far left which is embarrassing.

They rationalise that the fork goes to the left of the table setting and therefore it’s intuitive.

These people are contrarians for the sake of being contrarians. They do other stupid things, like step into a lift and stare at the wall rather than turning around to face the door. They walk toe first rather than heel first.

Someone call the police.

Large Knives to Spoons.

These people are trustworthy and normal. 

They know that knives go to the far left, because that’s the compartment with the most room, and we gotta lot of knives.



It’s obviously knives that are in desperate need of two compartments given the substantial difference between a steak knife and a butter knife.

Yes, I know there are cake forks, but how often does someone need a cake fork. 

Answer: Never.

The third that we shall not name. 

In the name of justice, we must acknowledge that there is... a third camp.

There are people who think the small, vertical compartments go towards the back of the drawer... no.


We do not give this "camp" air time.

Luckily, we found a very official document that confirms the correct way to organise the cutlery tray.

cutlery tray
Official diagram we found in an official place.

Case closed.

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